Dollywood Debuts Brand-New Dolly Parton Experience in May 2024

October 17, 2023
Dollywood Debuts New Dolly Parton Experience in 2024

More operating days, new guest experiences highlight Dollywood's 2024 season.

For Dollywood guests there’s more in store in ’24, including a busy operating calendar that brings even more fun to the Great Smoky Mountains. In addition to being able to enjoy the largest number of days ever during a season at Dollywood, guests also will be welcomed by the brand-new Dolly Parton Experience beginning in May 2024.

With so many more days in 2024, guests should definitely consider a season pass to the park named as the world’s best during the 2023 Amusement Today Golden Ticket Awards. Dollywood opens to season passholders on Friday, March 8, the earliest the park has opened in its history. The park’s 39th season offers 280 operating days, 23 more than in 2023. The park opens at 10 a.m. every operating day through the Harvest Festival, while the fun begins at 11 a.m. each day during Smoky Mountain Christmas.

The Dolly Parton Experience

Several new projects are set to delight guests during the 2024 season. In May, the Dolly Parton Experience is slated to open with a number of interactive elements to make guests feel as if they were alongside Dolly as she journeyed from Locust Ridge to stages around the world. The entire Adventures in Imagination area transforms to create the Dolly Parton Experience. Housed in multiple buildings, the multi-faceted experience includes exhibits which span her iconic career, a look at the inspiration for and results of her biggest dreams, the importance of her family, and even a curated exhibit that highlights Dolly’s signature style through the years. The Dolly Parton Experience provides guests more Dolly than ever, as it is three times the size of the former Chasing Rainbows Museum.

Lightning Rod Updated for 2024

Lightning strikes twice next spring when Lightning Rod debuts with a new, high-speed chain lift that will provide guests with a more consistent and efficient ride experience. Lightning Rod closes for the season on Oct. 30 to allow crews the opportunity to add the new lift. Despite the removal of the launch system, once the coaster trains reach the first drop, the ride experience remains identical to the current format revered by coaster enthusiasts around the world.

Festivals and Entertainment

Operating teams are working hard to maximize festival operating windows during 2024, with many featuring extended dates compared to 2023. The season begins with the I Will Always Love You Music Festival. After rave reviews from guests in 2023, park officials opted for a return of the event, adding new entertainment elements every Dolly fan will love. Guests can experience an updated version of the well-loved Paradise Road; a new show called Trio to celebrate the album of the same name which featured Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt; as well as an interactive singalong show that features some of Dolly’s biggest hits. The I Will Always Love You Music Festival takes place March 9-April 14, kicking off the season with a festive event commemorating the art of songwriting and the stories behind the songs.

Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health (April 19-June 9) blooms bright with iconic Mosaiculture displays throughout the park. Vivid larger-than-life flower sculptures create an immersive atmosphere for park guests as they make their way through more than half-a-million blooms during this stunning festival. In addition, Dollywood’s culinary team showcases their world-class abilities with a menu full of delicacies that highlight the tastes of spring in the Smokies.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration presented by Food City (June 15-August 11) is everyone’s favorite summer tradition, and once again includes Dollywood’s Sweet Summer Nights drone and fireworks show every night. Another favorite, the "Gazillion Bubble Show,” returns to mesmerize guests in DP’s Celebrity Theater.

A family tradition for many, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 9- Oct. 28) celebrates the beauty of fall with thousands of carved pumpkins, spirited performances from talented singers and the fun of Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health. Great Pumpkin LumiNights, which previously has been named the best theme park harvest event in the world, features elaborate displays that are fun for every member of the family. Creative culinary items, accomplished artisans, and fall fun in the Smokies make this a picture-perfect time to enjoy Dollywood.

The industry’s Best Theme Park Christmas event—Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 1- Jan. 5)—concludes the park’s 2024 season with six million lights, festive holiday shows, and the warm Christmas atmosphere guests have come to expect during this joyous time of year.

Dollywood's HeartSong Lodge & Resort Opens to Guests

The excitement doesn’t stop at Dollywood, however, as the company’s resort properties also gear up for a big 2024. Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort opens this month, making 2024 its first full season of operation. Additionally, a significant reinvestment into Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa allows a number of fresh touches and enhancements which will allow the award-winning property to maintain its position as one of the top theme park resorts in the world.

Season Passes

With so much more in ’24, guests should consider a season pass to ensure they can experience all of the fun! Three season pass levels—Diamond, Gold and Silver—provide great options for every guest, while the popular Pre-K Imagination Season Pass offers free admission all season long to any child born in 2019 or 2020. Guests who have a 2023 season pass are eligible to renew their pass for the 2024 season now through Oct. 29 with exclusive pricing and benefits. On Oct. 30, season passes go on sale to the general public.

Dollywood Diamond Season Passes provide a premium experience for guests. In addition to admission all season long, Diamond passholders receive Saturday Early Ride Time, four Bring-A-Friend Free tickets, free general parking, the largest discounts on dining, merchandise and lodging, an all-season unlimited refill mug per pass, as well as discounts on TimeSaver passes, VIP tours and preferred parking. In addition, Diamond Season Passes provide the passholder season access to Dollywood’s Splash Country.

The Gold Pass represents a tremendous value for guests thanks to Saturday Early Ride Time for the passholder, two Bring-A-Friend Free tickets, free general parking, a one-day unlimited refill mug per pass, as well as discounts on dining, merchandise, and lodging. Both Diamond and Gold passholders also receive access to special “Golden Events,” exclusive events and activities just for them. Only the named passholder can receive the perks associated with each pass type.

Gold and Diamond passholders also can take advantage of another great perk, daily “Golden Hours.” During the first hour of every operating day, Gold and Diamond Season Passes operate just like TimeSaver passes, allowing the named passholder expedited boarding on Dollywood’s world-class rides and attractions including Big Bear Mountain, winner of the Golden Ticket Award for Best Family Coaster.

Silver Season Passes also are available and include two Bring-a-Friend Free tickets and a discount on Dollywood lodging. Select blackout dates apply to adult and senior Silver Season Passes and Silver Bring-a-Friend Free tickets. Child Silver Season Passes do not have blackout dates.

For more information about Dollywood’s 2024 season or season passes, please visit or download the Dollywood app.